Increased Litigation for Denials and Delays on Naturalization Applications
(22 Jan 2019) The latest available data from the federal courts show that during December 2018 the government reported 37 new federal civil immigration naturalization lawsuits. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, this number is up 26% over the last six months. This continues an upward monthly trend in naturalization litigation evident since March 2017 after President Trump assumed office - a trend that has accelerated over the last six months.

During calendar year 2018 the government reported 380 federal civil immigration naturalization lawsuits. This marked the highest annual total since the 2008-2009 period. A total of 32 out of the 90 federal judicial districts covering the 50 states had one or more naturalization lawsuits filed during the last quarter of calendar year 2018.

Naturalized citizens are legal permanent residents (LPRs) who have applied for and been granted U.S. citizenship. Many naturalization suits are filed against the federal government after individuals have had their applications to become a naturalized citizen denied by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The most common cause of action to dispute this is under 8 USC 1447, Denial of Application for Naturalization Hearing. Other suits combatting delay are filed seeking naturalization hearings under 8 USC 1446, or a mandamus action to compel a decision on an application. It is rare for the federal government to sue in naturalization matters. However, this can happen if the government seeks to revoke someone's citizenship. Title 8 Section 1451 sets forth commonly cited grounds for seeking revocation of citizenship.

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